Thursday, June 12, 2014

All About Middle Grade Review: The Battle of Darcy Lane

The Battle of Darcy Lane by Tara Altebrando, April 22, 2014. 208 pages. Published by Running Press Kids. Source: publisher.
It is summertime, and twelve-year-old Julia Richards cannot stand the anticipation. Everyone on Darcy Lane seems to be holding their breath waiting for the cicadas to emerge, but what Julia and her best friend, Taylor, want is some real excitement. Which arrives in the form of a new neighbor named Alyssa, who introduces a ball game called Russia . . . and an unwelcome level of BFF rivalry.

Suddenly nothing stands unchallenged—not Julia's friendships, her crush, or her independence. But while Julia realizes that she cannot control all the changes in her life, she hangs onto the hope that everything will go in her favor if she can just win one magnificent showdown.
First Sentence:
Taylor and I were sitting on my front porch pretending to be millionaires as the afternoon turned into evening.

This review has taken me ages to write because the words just were not coming. This has probably been one of the hardest reviews for me to write in some time because there are so many angles of this book I enjoyed.

There are many reasons to love The Battle of Darcy Lane, as well, as many reasons why I would recommend this to any book lover from about ten and up (hey even those out of the recommended age range can enjoy this one [and really just about any book]) because everyone probably feels about the same as Julia at least once in their life.

It has been quite sometime since the last book I've read featuring a battle for besties. That being said, I really enjoyed the direction the author took with the battle of friends and how she left the characters plenty of room to discover what friendship really means. The Battle of Darcy Lane just had all the ingredients for a great read-a summer of  , finding out who your true friends are, and the fierce competition of games. Add it all up and you have one incredible book that will pull you in and have you wanting to try to conquer the the game woven through the plot.

Tara Altebrando's writing flows right odd the page as she tells the tale of Julia's competition with the new neighbor over the friendship of her longtime friend. But the thing that really makes this "war" of friends such an interesting read is how Julia learns what true friendship really means, and that maybe things aren't nearly as dreadful as she first though. It is definitely a story filled with growth and the challenges that changes bring.
    That being said, I thought she did quite an excellent job catching the fever feel of the game and how it got deep into the characters during their duel. The game of Russia definitely adds a flair of drama to this already teeming with feeling book. As one who loves competition, I found it to be a great addition to the overall story line.

Ms. Altebrando's writing is definitely a highlight of The Battle of Darcy Lane, for me. I just really enjoyed seeing the way she wrote about the characters and how she made me feel like I was right there beside them during their trials. And the way she handled the friend dilemma and the chaos that ensued was both fun, yet, gave the reader room to maybe learn the same thing as the main character.

Overall, The Battle of Darcy Lane was an enjoyable read. So, this nothing really that comes to mind. well, expect for that I pretty much guessed who was behind the prank calls that were tormenting Julia and her family. Other than that one easily guessed plot point, there isn't rally anything that I recall as being disagreeable in this one.

Final Verdict: The Battle of Darcy Lane- An excellent middle grade read for the summer with an all-out battle of the friends and a story that'll pull you in. Yeah, you really cannot go wrong with making this your summer read.

The Battle of Darcy Lane earns
this book was received in exchange for an honest review.

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